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serious mistake made by British statesmanship in 1919 was its failure to
appreciate the importance of Poland . . . Britain ... has an honourable
obligation to see, as far as she can that Poland emerges from the war
territorially not worse off than she entered it. But this does not exclude
some compromise over the Russo-Polish frontier if she receives substantial
Baltic enlargements at the expense of Germany." The Manchester Guardian
stated that the " question of Poland's eastern frontier had been left open.
The future eastern frontier must be made with the free consent and good-
will of both Poland and Russia."
The Editor of the Nineteenth Century and After (June51943) approached
the subject from the legal aspect:
" The frontiers of the Polish Republic to-day are, de jure, what they were
in August, 1939. Those frontiers are guaranteed against aggression to-day,
as they were in 1939, by the Anglo-Polish Agreement of Mutual Assistance.
Great Britain went to war with Germany in September of that year. Under
Article 3, Great Britain pledged herself—and the pledge has not lost its
validity—to support Poland, not only against armed aggression, but against
any attempt by a 6 European Power' toc undermine Polish independence *
by' processes of economic penetration or in any other way/ In the Treaty
of Alliance between Great Britain and Russia, which was signed on May
26th, 1942, both signatory Powers declare in Article 5 that* they will act in
accordance with the two principles of not seeking territorial aggrandisement
for themselves and of non-interference in the internal affairs of other States.'
By that treaty, therefore, Russia reaffirmed her renunciation of her claim to
" In the preamble to that same Treaty, Great Britain and Russia reaffirmed
their acceptance of the 'Atlantic Charter.' According to Points 2 and 3 of
the' Charter,' Great Britain and United States desire to see no territorial
changes that are not in accord with the freely expressed wishes of the people
concerned, and wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored
to those who have been forcibly deprived of them."
*e It is, therefore, beyond dispute that Great Britain and Russia are
pledged to assist Poland in securing her full independence within the
frontiers she had in 1939, that the annexation by either Power of any
territories within those frontiers is a clear violation of definite treaties, and
that Great Britain is specifically pledged to help Poland in resisting any
attempts whether direct or indirect, open or covert, to interfere in Polish
In the U.S.A. the majority of the Press were, it seemed, in agreement
with the Polish version. The New York Times wrote, " Russia renounced
the greater part of her so ill-acquired booty. It is quite impossible to think
that the Polish-Russian Agreement had to be put on Hitler's credit."
The British Ambassador in Moscow, together with Molotov, com-
pounded the formula to which both parties finally agreed.
The Pact, it was observed, did not entirely satisfy the wronged partner—
Poland. As the problem of her frontier was raised by an inspired Press
the query inevitably followed had the British exerted any pressure on the
Poles regarding this Agreement? S. Stronski, Polish Minister of
Information, courteously wrote however:
" There was no British pressure, only a very loyal and sympathetic help .. „
It was the reality of the present situation which gave the affair this pressing